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So many weeds :(

melliec Posts: 255 Forumite
I have a front garden that is covered with pea shingle which is spread really thinly. I have a few established shrubs around the edges but the rest of the area is totally covered with dandelions and other weeds. I have tried to get rid of them with weedkiller, boiling water, vinegar and by pulling them out but there are just so many it seems an impossible task. once I clear a patch they are back in no time. Any ideas on how to solve this?


  • Leif
    Leif Posts: 3,727 Forumite
    This isn't a very helpful comment, but my late mother had something similar, but with a membrane underneath. It was supposed to be low maintenance, but in practice it was harder work than a lawn. You could cover with an opaque membrane such as old carpet or plastic, leave for a year, and the seeds will have germinated and died. But you still get new seeds blown in and pooped in by birds.

    You could grass it over. Or perhaps remove the shingle and mulch the soil, with a few shrubs. You'd have to remulch presumably each year.
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
  • Dandelions come back every time unless you dig out all the roots. The roots can often go down quite a way! If it's mainly covered with pea shingle then I would consider raking it back and laying weed proof membrane and then recovering with pea shingle. Still get a few weeds put a lot easier to pull out. Alternatively remove pea shingle and weed intensively and cover with ground cover plants. To have a relatively low maintenance weeded garden means covering with plants so they don't get a look in.
  • Itismehonest
    Itismehonest Posts: 4,352 Forumite
    I'm guessing that there is either no membrane or that an inferior quality one was used.
    As the previous poster said, you need to take it back to the soil, get rid of the weeds, cover with a good membrane like Terram which won't easily tear & then put at least 2" (preferably more) of gravel down.
    You will still get a few weeds but, because they cant root into the ground, they are easy to pull.
    Don't let leaves etc. rot down on the gravel because this becomes "soil" on top of the membrane & defeats the object.
  • melliec
    melliec Posts: 255 Forumite
    Thanks for all the helpful replies!

    No, there is no membrane. I am kind of thinking of turfing it and then I don't really care about weeds coming through as they will match the grass:D. Whichever way it sounds like it's going to be expensive and labour intensive but I'm getting really embarrassed having such a horrible front garden :(
  • Kyrae
    Kyrae Posts: 541 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I'd go for a lawn, so much less maintenance! :D Take the gravel up and give it a good and thorough weeding first though :)
  • amcluesent
    amcluesent Posts: 9,425 Forumite
    No, there is no membrane.

    That's your problem! I'd glyphosate to kill the green plants, then scrape the shingle off and lay a decent horticultural membrane and replace shingle, adding more as needed. It's not too expensive if bought online, not like the £5 for a titchy bag from B&Q!
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